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Interrogating (Hi)stories

Establishing the Educational Relevance of Spiritual Development Through Critical Historiography


Audrey Lingley

In Interrogating (Hi)stories, Audrey Lingley uses a critical constructivist perspective to problematize the absence of the spiritual dimension of human growth from pedagogical models that emphasize responsiveness to developmental psychology. The book investigates this conspicuous absence through critical historiographical research; it is a critical interrogation of the tacit understandings that guide education in general and middle grades reform in particular. The author offers practical, classroom-based implications and culturally respectful language for educators who believe spirituality is a legitimate aspect of human growth and learning in a public school setting.


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In the spring of 2013, I was browsing the Peter Lang booth at AERA in San Francisco when I saw on the counter a business card for Shirley Steinberg. Her name had been on my mind, as I had recently completed a major research project that, in design and spirit, was an homage to her late partner, Joe Kincheloe. During my research design process, I had looked up Kincheloe, a scholar whose work I was increasingly falling in love with the more I read. I discovered he had died a few years before, and read an obituary that described what a vibrant and joyful presence he had been in his various communities of practice. He was sorely missed by many after his unexpected passing. I intended to write Shirley, as Joe’s proxy, a note of acknowledgment of and gratitude for his life and work. I delayed contact, however, out of a combination of shy- ness and the pressing nature of the daily demands borne of parenting, teaching, writing, and self-care. Standing at the Peter Lang booth on that April afternoon, I asked the young man behind the counter if Shirley Steinberg was present. He pointed to a table a few feet away, and for a moment, I was stunned to realize I had the opportunity to thank her in per- son. When I tentatively approached her, I inquired, “Excuse me, but are you the Shirley Steinberg who was married to Joe Kin- cheloe?” She straightened right up, growing a full...

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